Warmer than your average French new-wave flick and your typical American comedy, C’est La Vie strikes a keen balance between emotionally resonant and classically funny.
Directed by Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano this French comedy film follows the story of a wedding planner and a wild night that gets progressively worse.
Like many French comedies, the humour is light and fluffy, never moving toward humour that is vulgar or crass for the sake of shock value. This film would remind many of the story structure from films like Death at a Funeral (2010) – as things go from bad to worse before eventually revealing some form of an underlying message or moral to the crazy journey that takes place. Though the messages were a little fuzzy and the lead character a little difficult to relate with, ultimately what we are given is a film that is content with being a simple comedy without an exaggerated twist, massive plot point, or theme to make it a selling point to audiences.
The performances we are given feel real and organic, the characters feel real and never overact in their respective role. A major strength of this film is its heart-warming moments that help to separate the film from it being a purely comedic experience. The cast all work great together and they’re backed up by the quirky directing style of Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano – we almost felt as if the film was inspired by Birdman (2014), as many of the shots and freestyle drumming that moved in and out of this film reminded us of it. The music is fun and everything seems to meld nicely with only a few moments that drag.
This is a quiet, humble, and effectively entertaining foreign film that will likely crack a smile on anybody’s face no matter their mood at the time. If you’re a sucker for foreign films and want a relaxed comedy, look no further. With snappy comedy and a nicely structured story, C’est La Vie keeps it light and simple without overpowering you with too much comedic intensity at once.